Aden-Yemeni authorities, with the help of Arab Coalition forces, have rescued 35 passengers of a cargo vessel that sank off the island and the search is in progress to find more survivors.
A vessel carrying at least 60 people, including women and children, sank off the island’s Qalansiyah town on Monday.
The ship set sail Saturday from al-Mukalla, the coastal capital of Hadramout Province in southern Yemen, bound for the remote Arabian Sea island of Socotra.
“But soon after departing, the ship lost contact with authorities, according to Fahd Kavieen,” Yemen’s minister of fisheries and a Socotra native.
“We think that it capsized due to its overloaded cargo or a technical fault,” he said.
Officials said the ship disappeared about 25 miles from Socotra.
The internationally recognized government formed a committee of ministers and local officials to lead rescue and search operation and sent an appeal for helicopter help to the Saudi-led coalition and international navies fighting piracy in the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Aden.
Kavieen was hopeful that more could be found, but warned that the next few hours would be “very critical.”
He was optimistic about finding more survivors as fleeing passengers boarded 13 smaller rescue boats that were on board.
“The survivors told us that all the remaining passengers boarded the boats, but got lost at sea. The passengers must be hungry and thirsty since they have not had anything since Monday.”